Former Wisconsin men’s track and field standout Evan Jager captured the silver medal in the men’s steeplechase final in Rio De Janeiro. Jager posted the United States’ best finish in the event since 1952.
Jager crossed the finish line in eight minutes, four-point-five-one seconds to earn Team USA’s first medal in the men’s steeplechase since Brian Diemer earned bronze at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Jager’s placing at the 2016 Summer Olympics was the best by an American since Horace Ashenfelter claimed gold in 1952.
An All-American at Wisconsin during the 2009 season, Jager also ran the second-fastest steeplechase time in Olympic history, trailing only race winner Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, who finished Wednesday’s race in 9:03:28.
Jager is also the first former UW track and field athlete to earn a medal since Lloyd LaBeach won bronze in the 100 meters at the 1948 Olympics.
Jager grabbed the lead with three laps remaining, one he would hold until the bell lap as Kipruto and Kemboi passed him. Jager remained third until there were 100 meters left as he outraced Kemboi to finish second.
Amed advances in 5000 meters
Another former Badger distance standout, Mohammed Ahmed finished sixth in his section of the 5000 meters in 13:21:00 to advance to Saturday’s final. The Canadian record holder in the 5000 meters, Ahmed was the fastest time qualifier between the two sections of the event. The top five finishers from each heat, along with the next five fastest athletes, advanced from the field of 51 to the final.
Ahmed will race on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBC.